Progress has been made toward the goal of earthquake early warning in Taiwan. By applying the concept of a virtual subnetwork (VSN) to the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau seismic network, the earthquake rapid-reporting time has been reduced to about 30 sec or less by a new system called VSN. This represents a significant step toward realistic earthquake early-warning capability. The VSN system described here was put into operation from December 2000 to June 2001. A total of 54 earthquakes (100% correct detection) were detected and processed successfully during this period. Comprehensive earthquake reports are issued mostly in less than 30 sec, with an average of about 22 sec after the origin time. The 22-sec reporting time will offer more than 20 sec of early-warning time to cities at distances greater than 145 km from the source, for which the shear-wave strong-shaking arrival time is about 44 sec. This 20 sec is an adequate amount of time to carry out numerous preprogrammed emergency-response measures prior to the arrival of strong shaking.

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